One year after the collapse of the US bank Lehman Brothers, capitalism has not died, but the ball game has moved to Asia, with India and especially China as the new players, argues Shaun Rein in a new commentary in Forbes. One year later, the power brokers are different, not the game, leading the world in economic growth.
Not a day seems to go by without another Chinese company acquiring a stake in an iron ore mine in Australia or completing a deal for oil in Iran or Sudan. China Development Bank just gave China National Petroleum Corporation (the parent of Petrochina) a $30 billion loan to make overseas acquisitions. Look for this trend to continue and look for an erosion of the U.S. dollar, not only because of worries that America is taking on too much debt but also for geopolitical reasons.
China is using money and soft power to forge stronger relations with the Middle East, Latin America and Africa and to provide a balance of power against American hegemony. It is also flexing its muscles to supplant Japan, with all its political turmoil, as the dominant power in Asia.
Rein’s research firm has interviewed over the past year thousands of Chinese executives, he continues:
Far from being cowed by the financial crisis, they have said they see the downturn as an opportunity. Some 70% have told us they’ll take advantage of the recession to speed the global growth they already had underway. Many have told us they have faced far worse times in their business lives, and they want to make sure they don’t miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime investing opportunity. American companies will have to develop strategies to compete with these emerging market brands. They are fast improving in both product quality and branding.